Though it might feel like we got an early jump on it weather-wise, it’s not officially summer until Wednesday, which means it’s time to plan a getaway down the shore, hit up the neighbors about using their pool, and most importantly, figure out which shows to attend as the concert season is about to kick into high gear. Here’s some of the biggest and best coming to the region over the next few months:
Citizens Bank Park
Country music comes to the ballpark this summer, with Hunter Hayes up to bat July 29 and Luke Bryan Sept. 8. Performing cleanup duty will be perennial favorite Billy Joel, stopping in for one night Sept. 9.
Wells Fargo Center
Usually the Wells Fargo Center is quiet for the season, but this year things are really heating up, beginning with a triple-bill of nostalgia June 24 as New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul reclaim their 80s and 90s fanbase. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers bring the rock and roll July 1 and then again July 29, while James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt slow it down a bit July 9. Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran pulls a two-night stand on consecutive nights July 10 and 11 and rapper Kendrick Lamar delivers the goods July 19.
The summer continues at the WFC with Queen fronted by American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert July 20 and ex-Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters bringing his ‘Us and Them’ tour to the venue for a three-night stand Aug. 8, 9 and 11. The R&B sounds of Lionel Richie alongside Mariah Carey will have fans dancing on the ceiling Aug. 16, and the husband and wife pair of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill co-headline a gig Aug. 18. Lady Gaga does two nights Sept. 10 and 11 for her Joanne World Tour, Arcade Fire return Sept. 18 and Katy Perry closes out the summer Sept. 19.
Across the river in Camden, the BB&T Pavilion comes alive with Dead & Company June 25, and July 7 the annual Vans Warped Tour skates onto the grounds with the likes of Hawthorne Heights, The Alarm and Gwar just a few of the dozens of acts to see. July 12 has Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper set to show their true colors, with the next night, July 13, a classic rock triple bill featuring Foreigner, Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.
Zac Brown Band does two nights July 14 and 15, followed by Idina Menzel July 16. Incubus returns to the region with Jimmy Eat World in tow July 20, Korn and Stone Sour bring the heaviness July 26 and Boston links up with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts July 27. This year’s XPonential Music Festival returns to the BB&T over three nights; July 28 through 30. Some of the names on XPonential’s lineup include Wilco, Amos Lee & Friends and Drive-By Truckers. Full details on that lineup can be found at xpnfest.org.
August in Camden kicks off with Linkin Park on the first, the cool-to-hate Nickelback will be there Aug. 4, Jimmy Buffett turns the waterfront into Margaritaville for a night Aug, 17 and John Mayer will shred on guitar and make funny faces while doing it Aug. 18. Deep Purple and Alice Cooper dispense a dose of hard rock Aug. 24 and Green Day close out the month Aug. 31. Sept. 14 sees a double bill of hip-hop legend Nas with Lauryn Hill while Sept. 17 has the Outlaw Music Festival headlined by Willie Nelson alongside Eric Church, Sheryl Crow and others.
Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
Back on this side of the Delaware, Festival Pier has a good deal going on with Third Eye Blind and Silversun Pickups June 25, Gorillaz July 13, Clutch and Primus July 29 and Dashboard Confessional Aug. 9. Come Sept. 14, The Offspring will perform with support from Sublime with Rome and Sept. 15, Young the Giant will headline a show with Cold War Kids on the undercard.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Whether it’s under the roof or out on the lawn, the Mann is going to draw crowds this summer with the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton June 27, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie June 30 and John Mellencamp July 6. The Moody Blues will be in town July 15, Diana Ross comes out July 29 and Garbage and Blondie co-headline Aug. 2.
Rappers Method Man and Redman will be back in town at the Electric Factory June 29, with the complete opposite end of the spectrum represented a few weeks later as thrash legends Slayer bring Lamb of God and Behemoth July 23. For a complete list of shows, visit www.electricfactory.info
Theatre of Living Arts
Shoegaze pioneers Ride reunited a couple years back and will finally be in town July 22 at the TLA and singer/songwriters Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata perform Aug. 4. Head over to www.tlaphilly.com for a full rundown of TLA gigs.
The Fillmore has some heavy metal in store June 27 with Megadeth and Meshuggah on the same bill, Chevelle July 13, Ghost July 20 and Seether July 27. All Time Low will do two nights July 29 and 30 and SoCal punk legends Social Distortion perform Aug. 4. For a complete listing of shows there, check out www.thefillmorephilly.com
It’s kind of quiet at Reading’s Santander Arena, with rappers Yo Gotti and Meek Mill scheduled for July 15, their polar opposites in Donnie and Marie Osmond Aug. 22 and then in September, German hard rockers Scorpions with Megadeth in a rare supporting role. Check www.santander-arena.com for more.
Sellersville Theater 1894
The Alarm go off July 23 at Sellersville Theater, Irish modern rockers the Young Dubliners celebrate Aug. 10 and guitar phenom Eric Gales tunes up Aug. 17. Visit www.st94.com for the venue’s full list of gigs.
Over in Glenside, the Keswick is always making the best of their acoustics with Toad the Wet Sprocket performing July 22, Stephen Stills and Judy Collins doing their singer/songwriter special Aug. 25 and multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse there the following night, Aug. 26.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out his blog at www.delcotimes.com.